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tv   [untitled]    February 7, 2012 11:18pm-11:48pm EST

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is the chief economic strategist for the progressive policy institute michael welcome to the show but to be here it's as i just mentioned you know there's i mean there's two issues here there's the safety of americans when we have bridges that are seventy five thousand that are structurally deficient and there's or our economy which is begging for some type of stimulus you put two and two together the conclusion you know makes sense we start rebuilding right well you know take even a longer term view what the u.s. needs is more investment in this country we need more investment in infrastructure we need more investment in business in quitman we invest in everything and so what's happening at this point is perhaps the right we haven't we this was a great opportunity to rebuild some of our infrastructure i don't even want to focus on just bridges it's bridges it's tunnels it's the electric system it's the water system it's everything it's the airports right it's the roads and so you say the bridge is the most visible thing nobody wants to go over bridges that falls
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down and you know it kind of ruins your whole day but but but you have to think about. what is going to be economics economically significant very well what how you know compared to the recession that we're i mean are you really i think we're still interested i mean you know i guess national bureau of economic relations says that ended two thousand and nine talk to forty nine million people are still living in poverty that's not the case but compared to how we invest in our infrastructure in past recessions and even depressions how is our investment this time around you know how is it different where you drive you drive through new york you see all these massive infrastructure tunnels bridges that were either built finish or started during the great depression and you look around and say how come we can't do the same thing now how come we can't marshal the forces and you know there's a question about what we put into it may very well be that airports might be more useful economically than bridges it might very well be that it might be ports it
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might be by piece something's not quite clear but we do know we do know that we are under spending we are barely spending enough to keep up with the rate of depreciation right and you know on that we have a chart here. this is how much we're spending in america on our infrastructure basically and should be coming up here in just a moment compared to other parts of the world so we have western europe we have central europe and we have russia and japan and their infrastructure do we have here we go it's right there and if you look at to the far right the united states is down there at the bottom compared to you know other developed nations around the world. what does that mean for our place in the global economy if our infrastructure truck sure is crumbling how how does that affect our competitiveness in the global marketplace will you think about this we're under investing we're under investing in ourselves we're over consuming all right that's kind of the flip
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up what consumption is it's spending for today and not for tomorrow you can do that you can do that one you can do that five years you can do that ten years even but over time what happens is you fall further and further behind your ability to move people around your million move goods around your ability to compete gets less so right now what happens is is you know you sort of see if your small bridge falls and doesn't get rebuilt for a couple of years people get cut off ok roads get bumpy or cars get more broken up it becomes a gradual process of. of erosion basically and it on your point on investments we have another chart you called this chart the chart of the year basically in a pretty it is kind of stunning what it shows that's not the chart but it basically shows that investments have especially government investments you know where your government is spending way too much money that's what the republicans are saying
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but government's investments have plummeted to forty year lows you say the right way to think about this is that we're spending all our money to keep up with the things falling apart ok we haven't been able to get ahead you would have thought that this period of a chart here of a period of a downturn on this chart the yellow line ok the yellow line sort of that sort of turns down is really the net investment by government net investment means a net of the depreciation so you think think about it this way what's happening is that our is that our roads are getting worse and we're barely keeping up with filling the potholes our bridges are getting worse for barely keeping up with with painting that we haven't been able to we haven't been able to expand and this is one of those things which in some sense is a no brainer it should be a no brainer for everyone but it hasn't been should be and it kind of speaks to the toxicity in our politics we can't look forward we have to focus on now the next election cycle while our country is you know crumbling around us but michael it's
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great insight you're doing great work and it's a lot of money on the show. don't hold your breath for new infrastructure spending any time soon unfortunately because it's currently being held hostage by republicans in the house who are demanding the approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline as in if you don't want your bridges to collapse any more than give you a down in texas whatever they want. it's pathetic here's tom's take on the issue. you see in this same behavior by republicans in congress who killed nearly every stimulus measure proposed to create jobs around the country it's simple if the wealthy aren't spending money on the middle class don't have enough money to spend someone needs to step up to create demand in the marketplace and right at this moment that someone is the government and it's the republicans stop playing a political card to support their so-called less government platform our country's infrastructure our job market and our economy will continue to deteriorate eisenhower built the high speed the meet the internet in the interstate rail system
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it's pretty straight he was a republican president republicans used to talk about this eisenhower build schools you build hospitals modern republicans tea party republicans say are we can't have a government spending on infrastructure where do you expect to get it from if the government doesn't build it what we're doing right now is we're taking old infrastructure like mary daly in chicago selling off what so off the parking meters let's sell off the skyway. we're selling they are all over the country we have local community communities and it's palette county governments that are selling infrastructure that is going to in many cases leasing the seventy eighty ninety year leases where they're getting two or three years where the cash for it to cover short term problems and over the long term they're going to be paying out are we that we're going to be paying for the use of that over and over and over china gets twenty six hundred miles of high speed rail they're planning on building another twenty six hundred twenty six hundred miles up by the end of this year in that same
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time in this last decade we got zero none. we're privatizing our roads we're becoming basically a third world country it's time for americans to wake up to what's going on and and identify correctly this whole bizarre tea party republican mentality as what is taking this country apart. and it's time for tonight's the good the bad and the very very penn to pop tisha slee ugly the good the united circuit court of appeals today the court in california a firm a lower court's ruling that california's proposition eight the ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional and the majority opinion judges judge stephen ryan heartbroke quote proposition eight serves no purpose and has no effect other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in california and to
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officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferiors to those of the opposite sex couples and quote reinhardt went on to say that quote the constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort this is a big victory for equal rights in america and the bad the birth or movement just won't go away to come the birth of barrage president obama released his birth certificate last april proving he was indeed an american citizen surprise surprise as a result a new poll by you gov shows that the overall number of birth errors has decreased drastically great news right now because while overall numbers have decreased republicans who believe president obama was not born in the u.s. has actually increased. thirty seven percent of republicans that's more than a third think the president wasn't born in the u.s. it's a twelve percent increase since he released his birth certificate last year. it doesn't
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make any sense to me either and the very very ugly karl rove and one of the most talked about ads of sunday's super bowl clint eastwood touted the resilience of the american workforce particularly particularly in the auto industry here's what he had to say. this country can't be knocked out with one punch we get right back up again and when we did it was going to hear the roar of our engines. time. and our second half so about to begin. so who could possibly be offended by an ad like that well of karl rove could here's what he had to say on fox news yesterday. i was frankly offended but i'm a huge fan of clint eastwood i thought it was an extremely well done it but it is a sign of what happens when you have chicago style politics and the present united states is political minions are in essence using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising and the and the and the best wishes of the management which is
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benefited by getting a bunch of our money that they'll never pay back. until money back he just doesn't give a damn about the american auto industry. thanks patriotism. and that is very very ugly. coming up after the break twitter recently released a new controversy ole censorship policy was a real motivation behind it. we just put a picture of me when i was like nine years old true. i mean i am going to get a friend that i would rather have thought. he was kind of a yesterday. i'm very proud of the world without its
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place. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so. you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realize everything. i'm tom harpur welcome to the big picture.
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and welcome back to the big picture i'm sam sachs coming up in this half hour you may remember a few weeks ago twitter introduced a new censorship policy leading to many users blacking out the side for a day in protests or is there more to this new censors censorship policy than meets the eye investigative journalist ross baker joins me now moment of connect the dots
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. and if you commit a fraudulent action you go to jail but if a bank executive commits the same broad action they're rewarded with more and more money. they answer in tonight's. in the best of the rest of the news during last year's arab spring movement it wasn't just the plight of working people in tunisia or the kleptocracy of the mubarak regime in egypt that led to revolution it was also a social networking platform it was twitter twitter allow those involved in the protests an uprising to share ideas and to communicate and most importantly to organize in fact out organize police and security forces on the streets it's simple
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if there was no twitter or facebook revolution might have been achieved but it would have been a heck of a lot harder now one of those nations that is escaped the arab spring relatively unscathed so far is saudi arabia and it looks like saudi arabia may have a hand in silencing or i should say paying off twitter with the new censorship policy that could derail future uprisings in the arab world for more on what i'm talking about i'm joined by russell baker investigative journalist and editor of who and why dot com and author of the book family of secrets the bush dynasty russ welcome to the show. thanks very much so let's let's start you know from the ground here what is twitter's new censorship policy and how does it benefit. governments that might be repressing their people. bi think it's important for us to know that they released this policy as unobtrusively as possible this was oh
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about ten days ago they put it up on their website with the most bland sort of headline so that almost nobody would even notice it and they just said you know as we evolve we of course want to make sure we're in compliance with the laws of all the countries in which we operate and you know that means we've got to be sensitive to their concerns that's really kind of all that it said and by putting that up on the thursday night really didn't get noticed much it got picked up got a little bit of coverage on friday which is one of the slowest news days of the week i think that was intentional. what really is striking about this is that what they're basically saying is that the entire i think reason that many people equate twitter with democracy and with powerful communication is possibly being negated because of course when you say we're going to conform with the laws of each
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country in which we operate many of those countries are dictatorships and the laws are you don't talk about the government you don't talk about changing the form of government or creating democracy you don't talk about any of those things it's all illegal and what struck me and what we wrote about on who what why is the fact that about a month prior to that announcement a saudi prince the wealthiest man in saudi arabia took a stake in twitter he put he bought three hundred million dollars worth of shares from insiders and as i understand it it's not possible to do that without the concurrence of twitter itself and so seemingly they were knowingly allowing somebody who has every incentive to shut down that democracy function of twitter they were allowing him to buy a stake in the company and then a month later you saw exactly what you would expect to happen happen. you know this new censorship policy it basically says that it will block out your tweets in the
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country where it's illegal but twitter twitters like it's ok though everyone else around the world can see it i mean what good is it for me in washington d.c. to see that people want to organize a rally into rear square if the people who want to organize the rally into rear square can see it kind of misses the whole point of what what their social networking site is used for during these revolutions well that's exactly right also what was strange was the sort of the way that they explained how they would do it they seemed quite ambiguous and then they mentioned something about retroactively eliminating tweets and i don't know how you retroactively do that unless there is some sort of a delay meaning that somebody tweets and then they block it before it is broadcast we need to know a lot more about that and not surprisingly the corporate owned media have done a terrible job of reporting on this again more than ten days or so have gone by and
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we don't see any kind of serious inquiry into exactly how this is going to work and it seems like the only backlash has not come from the media but actually twitter users who staged a protest a few weeks ago but let's let's talk about this prince waleed bin talal i mean he's a major investors kind of vestment all over the place i mean twitter seems like it's doing pretty well any reason why they would want to accept you know three hundred million dollars from this guy. i mean other than yes it's money but i mean is what was the reason behind the investment here. we don't know that is a great question and things have gotten to the point where i mean that the new york times quoted a fellow from a company that is consulting on marketing and he said oh i i don't think there were any malicious intent on the part of the saudi prince i just think he sees a good investment well that's just ridiculously naive i mean of course it's a good investment but as you point out it's a good investment for everyone and
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a sense twitter as so far has remained private with the rest of us who might like to get in just as has with let's say the the facebook i.p.o. where most us can get it anyway but with twitter we certainly can't get in we be glad to get in on that why twitter has to go to somebody who has a stake in suppressing free speech i think that's a very very good question and in just the thirty seconds we have left for us the prince probably tall he also has a five percent stake in news corp which owns fox news that explain why a fox news was kind of raining on the arab spring during its coverage the whole time just thirty seconds. hard to know but certainly fox news has not been a leader and covering these kinds of things and by the way that was a mini arab spring and saudi arabia that we've covered on who what why that has not been covered almost anywhere for a. great point russ baker who what why dot com thanks
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a lot for coming on thank you. in other news as we talked about on the show last night the republican strategy on capitol hill of legislating through hostage taking work yesterday and now unions are screwed house republicans demanded that a routine f.a.a. spending bill include a harsh anti-union language that makes it harder for transportation workers to organize see the change raises the threshold for those who want to seek a union from getting thirty five percent interested to fifty percent for transportation workers. and republicans basically said that if democrats don't agree to it then they'll shut down the f.a.a. again just like they did last year yesterday despite nineteen labor organizations writing a letter to democrats calling on them to oppose the bill. democrats kate and a majority of senate democrats helped pass the bill and new anti-union laws for transportation workers by a seventy five to twenty vote and this is just the latest in
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a nationwide war led by republicans against working people from washington to ohio to new jersey to now minnesota and arizona the war continues but it was when governor jan brewer in arizona picked up the fight against working people last week that tom had to know and gave this rant about how important unions are to our american democracy take a look last week the number one priority for governor jan brewer was boosting her own book sales that's why she met president obama on the tarmac at the phoenix airport last wednesday started a fight with a man wagged her finger in his face for the perfect photo op to publicize her book and by the way it worked the book shot from number three hundred forty three thousand on amazon that meant there's three hundred forty two thousand above it. to number seven mission accomplished now this week governor brewer and a republican soldiers in the state legislature have a new priority going after public worker unions republicans in the arizona state
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senate introduced legislation this week that puts wisconsin governor scott walker's war on unions on steroids the bills would ban collective bargaining for public employee unions forbid public employees from deducting part of their paychecks to go to union dues and unlike in wisconsin the bill also targets police and firefighters as the democratic senate minority leader david shapiro described it it looks like an all out assault on the right of workers to organize is right but it's more than that it's an all out assault on the middle class an american middle class that is quickly vanishing when over here and take a look at this chart this is here we go here we have. a union membership as a share of income and a share of income going to the top one percent that's pretty straightforward stuff when union membership goes down so does middle class income union membership is the red line middle class income the blue line and mother were top one percent that's
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the green they go up ever since we started reaganomics thirty years ago eighty percent of all new wealth created in the united states since reaganomics has gone to just the top one percent and before reagan in the cure you see the numbers and before reagan the c.e.o. worker to pay ratio was thirty to one now it's four hundred seventy five to one in some industries it's ten thousand to one. unions democratize the workplace the reason why these things are so intertwined like this is because unions are democracies within the workplace we have a demonic democratic government within that we have an economy that has little kingdoms these kingdoms are called the workplace and when the kingdoms become oppressive you get a democracy inside there to balance the power of that zero pression and then what happens is a fully democratize workplace will help both its its owners and c.e.o.'s and its
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workers create a strong middle class but when you take democracy out of the workplace take out that balancing power of workers the middle class dies and for the oligarchy that's the whole point they want it all for themselves even if it means doing it by creating bubble in a crash economy you know the brain spinning bubble and crash again let's steal as much of this is this is all about ripping off the middle class and we were ending up very rapidly with a middle class in america that pretty much is it. and that's a tragedy for all of us and it's also dangerous for democracy. after the break if you went to the bank to try to cash a fraudulent check you'd be arrested but if executives at that bank sign foreclosure documents fraudulent foreclosure documents make themselves a bunch of money they walk without seeing one day behind bars so why is that tom
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we'll explain in tonight's daily to. just put a picture of me when i was like nine years old she told the truth. i'm a contestant i'm a total get a friend that i love rap and hip hop music and. she was kind of a yesterday. i'm very proud of the world without you she has played. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something
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else you hear or see some other part of it and realize that everything is ok you don't know i'm sorry welcome is a big issue. so
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if a woman in staten island new york is suing the city and it's a ministration per children's services she's seeking a modest nine hundred trillion dollars that's right it's a nine hundred trillion with a lawsuit even mitt romney would say that's a lot of money they woman claims the city improperly removed her children from her home and illegally placed them in a foster home three years ago by letting her and her children civil rights the city on the other end gave the mother mentally unable to raise her children and perhaps retaliating with a nine hundred trillion dollar lawsuit doesn't exactly help your case. but the woman did win a case recently in family court to re regain custody of her children so she may have some legal standing if only she didn't decide to sue for nine hundred trillion
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dollars which would make even ben bernanke the blush if she wins show likely have to go to that quadrillion dollar shadowy global derivatives market to collect on the bright side she'll probably be paying a lower tax rate than she was before. a missouri grand jury last friday indicted one of the largest foreclosure companies in the nation on charges of forgery dr x. which has signed millions of foreclosure documents on behalf of the big banks over the last few years was one of many companies caught using robo signers people hired to sign names to fraudulent foreclosure documents to make it look like the banks
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own the property when that the owned the property of they were foreclosing on all along even though they didn't own it think of it like writing in signing fake checks it's completely illegal so far this is one of the few instances though in which criminal charges have actually been sought in the robo signing scandal and it's mostly the small firms that were working on behalf of the big banks on wall street that are being targeted not the banks not one criminal charges been filed against any executives at those big banks on wall street that were overseeing everything. basically when the super rich commit massive fraud in america they skate it's like they live in another country where the laws don't apply to them in fact they do live in another country they have seceded all together from the united states that you and i live in and it's the subject of tonight's they'll.

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